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Historic Sans Souci Bar reopens on Harsens Island after more than 3 years

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Posted at 10:59 AM, Feb 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-02 10:59:34-05

The historic Sans Souci Bar on Harsens Island is back open after it closed more than three years ago during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bar was originally a small building on the island that opened in 1879 and was the embarking point for the White Star Steamship Co., including the famous ship Tashmoo.

In 1926, Ivy Ring became the first woman to secure a liquor license in Michigan and that's when the location became the Sans Souci Bar.

It was owned by the Pauley family for 40 years, but they closed in June 2020, according to the Times Herald.

Last year, three couples on the island – Bob and Rhonda Coombs, Tim and Suzanne Maxwell, and Bruth and Kathie Schweikart – decided to purchase the bar and reopen it.

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According to Maxwell, the entire bar has been updated with a new 50-foot-long bar, new bathrooms and a new kitchen.

There are also new windows on the riverside of the dining room where guests can watch freighters pass by the restaurant.

A patio is expected to open in the warmer months, and the menu has some slight changes, but Maxwell said it will still serve the famous perch dinner and chili.

The bar is open Monday through Saturday and will have updated hours on its website in the winter months.